McCall Gathering 2007, Part 51

This entry is part 51 of 54 in the series McCall Gathering 2007

The Slaying of Cerberus, Guardian of Hades

JJ: The next labor is Capricorn, that is Artie’s sign. The slaying of Cerberus, Guardian of Hades. (Hell) In this labor he is told again that he needs to go and rescue Prometheus. He is in two of these labors and I don’t know why but I guess just for symbology sake. In this labor Prometheus is in hell and Hercules must descend to hell and rescue him. Prometheus is sent to hell because he went against the grain of the gods for he was not supposed give fire to man which he did against their will. Now some stories say that he just gave them normal fire so that man could progress and light fires and cook food and give him warmth and other stories say that he gave them the fire of the spirit from the gods, the fire that makes them gods.

Whatever he gave them angered them and they chained him up this time in the pit of hell and again he has vultures picking at his liver and his body. So he is in terrible shape and Hercules has to descend to hell and save him. So he begins to descend to hell and he has to cross a river named Styx, a river that the souls of the deceased must cross. It is guarded, interestingly enough, by a person named Charon (sounds like Sharón)

Charon is a ferryman that can take the souls over to the other side of the river. He ferries Hercules over and he was supposed to charge him a penny but he forgot because Hercules was so strong and powerful that he didn’t think about it. In hell he meets Medusa and tries to overcome her and was not quite able to slay her. It does not say anything about turning people into stone like the ancient stories indicate. Then he goes through a Labyrinth and he meets the king of the underworld.

The king of the underworld says, you can free Prometheus if you can kill a three-headed dog with your bare hands. Now many people have tried to do this and no one has been able to hurt this dog and if you can kill this big beast with your bare hands than I will let you free Prometheus. So Hercules continues on his journey and he comes the place where Prometheus is and the three-headed dog guards him. He attacks the dog and he centers in on his main head. The three heads symbolize, sensation, desire and good intentions, so he grabs him at the most important head, which head would that be?

Audience: Desire?

JJ: Correct, desire, and desire is the one that is the most important to overcome. So he grabs him at the central head, which is desire, and he chokes the dog to death. He then proceeds and frees Prometheus, unleashing him, he re-traces his steps and takes him out of the underworld and up to the surface.

Audience: So he only had to kill one head and the others would die?

JJ: Yes, the desire is the main head. Prometheus, as we said, symbolizes God and man, and he is chained to a rock in the depths below which means he is chained to the densest matter and that makes it really hard to see the God in us and remember it is important that to love our brother. We must look into his eyes and see his soul and if we can look into our brother’s eyes and see his soul, then we can see the God within. But many of us only see the outer personality. We only see Prometheus chained and not free and just a normal person and suffering from the things that we suffer from in life. Instead of seeing the suffering we should look and see the perfection of the God within and this is what we have to do with Prometheus. That is the only way we can free the Prometheus within us is to see the true God that is there.

Because God does not appear to be there it appears that he is chained and powerless for that he has been there for ages and ages and ages. It appears we are sinners to be punished by God and we are born in sin and God is frowning upon us and we are chained and suffering and there is nothing we can do about it. Prometheus is an extension of Hercules (Us) and he frees Prometheus hence freeing himself by seeing what he truly is and seeing that the God within and the God without are the same.

Audience: I am lost on that one; I thought you said that he strangled desire?

JJ: He did.

Audience: Well how does that find the God within?

JJ: I will cover this in a little more detail. The lower passions hide the God within. The symbolism of the rock tells us he was trapped in the densest matter. The lower passions, desires, sensations, and good intentions, sensation is very closely related to desire and it increases desire and good intentions are our desire to do good. You have heard the statement that, “The way to hell is paved with good intentions.” This is often the case; it is people with good intentions who often create a lot more harm than good.

Every bureaucracy that we have in this country is created with good intentions. Politicians say we are going to create this bureaucracy that is going to do a lot of good. We create the bureaucracy that costs us billions and billions of dollars and ten years later nothing is improved and it is the same as it was before so all the good intentions did was cost money, raise our taxes and produced nothing what so ever and often times does harm. You look at almost every bureaucracy that has been created and it is the same thing, it was created with good intentions but it does more harm than good.

Many things that we do in our personal life does more harm than good. I was talking to a man a while back and he said that he believed in harmlessness and he would not own or shoot a gun no matter what the case. I said really, lets suppose that you are in this bank and a bank robber comes in with a bomb strapped on him and he begins to rob the bank and says unless everybody cooperates he will press a button and blow everybody all up. The police arrive and they are all trapped inside and now he can’t get out and becomes desperate. In the process he winds up shooting the guard and the guard falls close to this guy who does not believe in shooting anybody and this gun slips out of his holster near his foot. Now here is the guy with the bomb and he tells the police that if they do not do exactly what he says that he is going to blow everybody up. The police are not cooperating and the guy says in ten seconds I am going to blow everybody up. He begins to count ten, nine, eight…

Now you can save the situation by grabbing the gun and shooting the guy, do you shoot the guy and take one life or do you let the guy detonate the bomb and take a hundred lives in the bank? Which one do you do?

He says, well I would not shoot him. I said well then the blood of one hundred people will be on your hands. He said, no it wouldn’t. And I said, yes it would because if you have the possibility of stopping this guy and don’t then you have the responsibility for a hundred lives. So, in that situation would you still not shoot him? He said no. Well the guy has good intentions but those good intentions are going to cost one hundred lives because that guy is now going to detonate the bomb. The guy has the power to stop him but he will not so his good intentions will cost the lives of one hundred people who have husbands, wives, children, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends and who will also be affected by this one man with good intentions that had a chance to stop this and he did not.

This is often the case, we have good intentions and we do what feels good and what sounds good but in the end it creates a lot more destruction than if we took the hard path and actually did the common sense thing that would produce the most good.

Audience: So the good intentions hide the God within?

JJ: Yes, good intentions often create more harm than good and we have to see through the good intentions and see if they are really going to do anything good. The second thing we have to do with good intentions is when our good intentions are actually good and not bad then we have to see them through. If we see through our good intentions and they make sense and fulfill them and if we conquer sensation so sensation does not control us and if we overcome desire so desire becomes a servant then that opens the door for the God within shine forth.

There are a lot of things we can do to show the God within but the most important thing overall is to look, if we do not look we will not see but we can’t really look until we have successfully overcome wrong desire and wrong thought and wrong attachment to sensation.

Copyright by J J Dewey

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McCall Gathering 2007, Part 39

This entry is part 39 of 54 in the series McCall Gathering 2007

The Journey to Wisdom

JJ: So next in his quest Hercules comes across Prometheus – another human being who is being tortured and in dire need. He thinks he is giving up his quest for the golden apples when what is really happening?
Audience: He is getting closer to them.

JJ: Right, he was actually taking one of the real steps toward the golden apples and that was service. To get the golden apples of wisdom one of the paths that we have to take is service, to be of service to all men, to be able to help people alleviate their pains. Prometheus represented humanity as a whole. The vultures were picking at his solar plexus. This depicts our emotional nature for our emotional nature gives us much grief and pain. Understanding our emotional nature and our complexities and being able to help people that are in emotional pain and lift them out of it requires a lot of wisdom. If a person is in a physical situation like Prometheus it is a bit different but when we switch over to an emotional nature, solving emotional problems like being a marriage counselor is probably one of the most difficult jobs on the earth.

Audience: Wasn’t Prometheus bound to that rock because he stole fire from the gods?

JJ: Yes that is part of the story as a matter of fact Prometheus shows up again in another labor and we will talk about him more then.

Audience: So Prometheus as a symbol is all of humanity doing what? Evolving?

Audience member answering: When Prometheus stole fire from the gods it is like when we get an inflated ego from our actions and so he had to suffer. The graphic suffering being his liver, he suffered this by day but it healed by night because it is in the darkness of ourselves that we struggle and then we come back around to that feeling of wholeness and self humility that we arrive at and that is just the story of man.

JJ Okay thank you, now Atlas was holding up all the cares of the world on his shoulders what does this represent?

Audience: Inaudible

JJ: One of the interesting statements from Jesus is, “Follow me for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” When you think of the story of the crucifixion you do not really think that. Whether or not your burden is light is not dependent on what is happening outwardly. It is interesting that people believe that He took upon himself the sins of the world. He went to the Garden of Gethsemane and he sweated blood and then he goes to the cross and yet He says my yoke is easy and my burden is light!

Now if He can say, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” why can’t we say that? We look at our own lives and we think, wow I have it harder than anybody I know. Many people think this about themselves. Of course we do not know everything that is going on in everyone’s mind but once you explore a little bit you find that most people think they have it pretty tough. So it is interesting that He made that statement “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” when he faced such a monumental amount of pain that He had to go through. This boils down to attitude.

Atlas stands for humanity and we as human beings think that we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders and we are waiting for Hercules the higher self to come and take that weight off of us. We are all waiting and let me ask you this – where is the Hercules in our lives that all of us are waiting for? For some people it may be your parents, for others it may be your spouse. For some it may be your Guru, for others it may be dying and going to heaven. Some say, “I am not going to be burdened anymore, this life is the pits but Jesus is going to reward me when I go to heaven. We are all waiting for Hercules to come and take the burden off of our shoulders. What did Hercules find out about the burden?

Audience: The world was okay without him holding it up.

JJ: Yes the world can take care of itself. It was all for nothing and there was no burden to be worried about. In other words, the things that burden us down and make us feel the weight of responsibility is built on illusion and is not even really there. That is why even when Jesus was faced with a terrible situation he could say, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” – because of the way He looked at the situation.

As a matter of fact there was a story in one of the apocrypha books that was supposed to be written by Peter. When Jesus was being nailed to the cross He was laughing. I thought that was kind of funny but on the other hand I think it is entirely possible that it may have been true.

Since Jesus was a Master of the physical world it is quite possible that He could have negated the physical pain if He so chose. He might have thought the situation was kind of amusing.

So it is interesting that what maybe really happened could have been totally different than the Passion of The Christ as presented by Mel Gibson even though that movie does make you really think it is quite possible that the reality was quite different. Maybe His yoke was easy and His burden was light clear to the end. There was one great struggle He had which was in the Garden of Gethsemane which was like one of the labors of Hercules where we have to face a great crisis. We will talk more about that as well.

Lets move on. It turned out that Atlas and the three maidens were guarding the tree and when they saw that Hercules had obtained wisdom, that he desired to serve and to alleviate people from their suffering. This produced wisdom so they gave him the golden apples freely. But then when he had the golden apples he decided he would just leave them there for the next person. He did not even eat them himself but saw that the best thing to do would be to leave them for the next traveler.

It is interesting that when he had the physical apples that he chose not to partake in them. Why? Because wisdom is not physical. You cannot hold wisdom in your hand. Anything representative of wisdom he would leave it for the next guy and he would find out the reality of it as he goes through the same struggle. I think that is a beautiful story.

Audience: We had Aries and Taurus, did this come in as a Gemini?

JJ: Yes the golden apples are in the sign of Gemini and one of the lessons that we overlooked was the fact that he had to learn the duality of things because the Gemini represents the dualities. So on his search for wisdom he balanced off the outward with the inner. The two sides of the Gemini are the outward and the inner, matter and spirit as he balanced them together and by finding that balance he obtained the wisdom.

JJ: There is a story of a student that came to Socrates and he says, Socrates I want wisdom and knowledge like you have; what do I have to do? And that is what Hercules asked, where do I find the golden apples? And he was told “I am not going to tell you.”

Socrates said to the student, come out with me and wade in this lake about waist high and I will show you The student said okay so they wondered out into the lake about waist high and Socrates grabs him by the head and pushes his head under water and holds it there about a minute and then brings his head up. The student says what in the world did you do that for? Socrates says, when I had your head in the water what did you want more than anything else in the world? He says air and the longer I was down there the more I wanted it. Socrates replied, “When you want wisdom as much as you wanted air you will then be as smart as me.

I’ve always liked that story which likened to Hercules wanting wisdom, Hercules wanted wisdom like he wanted air and he searched for it and he did not give up and when he found it was not in the way that he thought he would find it. When he was being delayed by helping Prometheus, Atlas and all these other guys that was really part of his journey in finding wisdom. The finding if the wisdom was in the journey not in the ultimate destination. It is a little bit like fun; fun is in the journey, not in getting there.

Copyright by J J Dewey

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McCall Gathering 2007, Part 37

This entry is part 37 of 54 in the series McCall Gathering 2007

The Golden Apples of Hesperides

The third labor Hercules and this is one of my favorites. It is the gathering of the golden apples of Hesperides. Hercules was commanded to go and gather these golden apples in this elusive field, he was told it would be difficult and he was not given much instruction as to how to do it. He was just told to go and find the golden apples of Hesperides. This was the third great labor and his teacher sent him on this mission.

He was not even sure what he was looking for outside of golden apples and they were well guarded and so he went high and low around the countryside and asked people everywhere he went about the golden apples and nobody seemed to know where they were. In other labors he confined his search to certain areas but in this one he searched throughout the entire earth – searching north and south and east and west even though he had very few clues.

Finally, the teacher thought Hercules was not making much progress “so we are going to send one of our guys to give him some help.” So they sent him Nereus to help Hercules find these apples. So Hercules kept bumping into him and Nereus kept giving him these hints and Hercules was oblivious to them as he bumped into Nereus again and again. He gave him other hints and Hercules ignored him.

This happened repeatedly until they about gave up trying to help Hercules find the golden apples but Hercules did not give up and kept looking and he finally received a clue. He went south and he found the golden apples, but a great and powerful dragon guarded the golden apples. Now Hercules had fought a dragon just after he was born and he thought fighting this dragon would be easy. He wrestled with this dragon and found that he could not overcome it and he struggled and struggled and the dragon kept getting stronger and stronger and then finally he had an idea. He noticed that the dragon seemed to take power from the earth and so he picked up the dragon and held it up in the air and as he held the dragon in the air the dragon seemed to lose its strength. So he kept the dragon in the air until he died and then he continued on his quest for the golden apples.

Then he met this teacher named Busiris and this teacher seemed to have the answers for everything and was so wonderful that he forgot all about searching for the golden apples. This teacher seemed to have great wisdom and completely captivated Hercules. Finally the teacher turned on him and bound and chained Hercules to a chair and kept him there for a full year bound and chained to this chair.

During this period Hercules still loved his teacher and finally after about a year Hercules realized this was not right – that his teacher should keep him bound like this – and he finally lifted himself as a son of God and he broke free from the chains and took his teacher and bound him the chair with the chains and he left him.

Then he continued on his quest to find the golden apples again. The next step as he was searching for the golden apples he came across Prometheus and he was bound and chained on this mountain and the vultures were trying to eat him up. They were picking at his liver and he was bleeding and he was in great pain. When Hercules saw that Prometheus was suffering so he said I cannot let this man suffer. So he gave up his quest for the golden apples and decided to help Prometheus and he broke Prometheus free and lead him to safety.

So Hercules began his quest to search for the golden apples one more time, and as he was searching for them again he came across Atlas who was holding the world on his shoulders. This was a great struggle for Atlas because he had the whole weight of the world on his shoulders and he was in great pain and discomfort, but Atlas felt a tremendous responsibility and he continued to hold the world upon his shoulders.

Hercules felt sorry for Atlas so he said, “I will give you reprieve. If you will slide the world over on my shoulders then I will hold it for you and you can go free.” And Atlas said well that sounds like a good deal and so Atlas slid the world over to Hercules shoulders and as he did this the world slid off of Hercules shoulders.

It turned out that the world could take care of itself. Not only was Atlas free but Hercules did not have to carry the weight of the world. After this happened Atlas said, “I have the golden apples,” and he went and picked apples from the tree and he handed them to Hercules. Then three maidens also picked apples from the tree and handed them to Hercules. It turned out that the apples could only be found through the journey that Hercules took.

So let us go through this parable and examine it. What do you suppose the golden apples represented?

Copyright by J J Dewey

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